IT Pro Verdict
Strong access security measures
Lots of third-party integrations
Outstanding reporting features
Innovative hybrid storage system
None to speak of
Egnyte might not be a familiar name, but it certainly deserves to be. It offers a comprehensive cloud syncing and sharing solution, with its Team subscription tier offering a decent terabyte of cloud storage for a monthly cost of £7.43 per user. The £15 Business plan on test adds 10GB of private storage for each user, plus multi-factor authentication and the company’s innovative hybrid storage option – which we’ll get into below.
The service creates a good impression from the get-go, with a free 15-day trial that doesn’t demand payment details. And as part of the setup process, you’re invited to create a custom subdomain name for your account URL, adding an extra touch of professionalism when sharing files with clients and customers.
The administrative web portal lets you create new users and set their privilege levels. “Power users” have the ability to engage in all file-sharing activities, while standard users are limited to uploading and downloading files, editing them and installing the Egnyte mobile apps. This is just the start of Egnyte’s access controls, however: individual files can also be locked to prevent editing, and when sharing a folder you can decide whether users will be able to edit and annotate the contents, or just download and view them. Permissions can even be set on a per-folder basis, with subfolders either inheriting settings from their parent folder or carrying their own attributes.
Once you’ve created a user profile, an invitation will be emailed out, prompting the user to set a password and directing them to their personal web portal. From here, they can immediately access their private and shared folders, upload local files and download cloud files to their desktop.
The portal also provides links from which users can download and install the Egnyte desktop apps. We tried these on both Windows 10 and macOS clients and found them perfectly accessible; with the software installed, a new virtual drive appears, enabling easy access to the cloud from all applications.
Egnyte boasts an impressive range of third-party integrations, with add-ons available for DocuSign, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Slack and many more. Direct integration with Microsoft Office apps enables you to open, edit and save cloud files without needing to make local copies, and when composing an email in Outlook you’ll see new settings for sharing files, uploading them and requesting uploads to a specific cloud folder.
One of our favourite features of Egnyte is its hybrid Storage Sync service. This lets you set up local or external storage systems to sync with your cloud account, for a belt-and-braces solution that can provide continuity if either your on-premises hardware or your internet connection fails. The Business plan entitles you to set up one Storage Sync device, with AWS, Hyper-V, Netgear NAS and VMware systems all supported as destinations. We tested the Hyper-V version by connecting the provided VM to our Egnyte domain, choosing the folders we wanted synchronised and setting up a synchronisation schedule. Users were then able to log into the Hyper-V share with their Egnyte credentials and access the same files and folders as in their cloud account.
The feather in Egnyte’s cap is its excellent reporting and auditing features. The administrative console provides a wealth of detail on users, permissions, activity and capacities, making this an ideal cloud platform for any business that wants the very best in access controls and security, as well as robust file storage.
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.